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Tigers 10, White Sox 0: Andre Lipcius sparks a Tigers’ party on the south side

Reese Olson blanked the Sox over seven innings, and the bats went off in a big, big way.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers made it three in a row on a fun night in Chicago on Saturday. Rookie Andre Lipcius hit his first MLB home run, the bats went off in general, and Reese Olson was tracking toward a Maddux through seven innings of this one.

A Tigers party broke out pretty quickly in the first. After two quick outs, Spencer Torkelson, who had already ambushed a pair of Clevinger sliders but pulled them a little foul, ripped a hard ground ball under a diving Tim Anderson’s glove into left for a single. Miguel Cabrera rifled a drive into the right field corner for a stand up double, and it was 1-0 Tigers.

That knock left Cabrera with 622 doubles, two behind Hank Aaron at 624.

Kerry Carpenter then dumped a single in front of Andrew Benintendi in left, and Cabrera, off with two outs, scored easily. Two out hitting would be an early theme for the Tigers offense. But they were just getting started.

Rookie Andre Lipcius stepped to the dish for his third major league plate appearance, and took Clevinger deep to left for a two-run shot. His family went nuts in the stands, Miguel Cabrera came out to greet him and take off the rookie’s helmet, and the party was lit.

The party was also just getting started, as Mike Clevinger continued to take a beating.

Parker Meadows lashed a single to right field next, but Clevinger picked him off to end the inning 4-0 Tigers.

Lipcius got a reminder to keep it focused in the bottom of the first as a hot shot from Andrew Vaughn with two outs clanged off his glove for an error. Reese Olson popped up Eloy Jimenez to make it a moot point.

The second inning went much the same way. With two outs in the top of the second, Akil Baddoo singled the opposite way. Zach McKinstry lined a single into the left center field gap that Oscar Colas just didn’t take a good route to, and Baddoo was already around third and flying home to make it 5-0. Torkelson followed by ripping a double off the left field wall, and McKinstry also went first to home. The relay was in time, but catcher Korey Lee couldn’t hang on as they collided a bit. Miguel Cabrera followed with a drive to center that Colas did run down, and it was 6-0 Tigers.

The strikeouts weren’t there for Olson in the bottom of the second, but he was getting quick outs off the sinker and kept the fourseamer on the shelf a bit. We’ll take that tradeoff a little more often for the talented rookie starter.

The third inning opened with a line drive double to right off the bat of Kerry Carpenter they went in order from there, while Olson again turned the bottom half of the inning over quickly. He gave up a single to Colas, but Korey Lee popped out and Tim Anderson grounded into a double play converted by Báez.

Yasmani Grandal took over for Lee as the White Sox catcher after the third inning.

Baddoo singled to right with one out in the fourth, and then stole second base. McKinstry flew out, but Baddoo took third and scored as Torkelson hammered a double up the right center field gap this time. Cabrera laced a lined single to center to score Torkelson, and it was 8-0 Tigers.

Meanwhile, Reese Olson wasn’t racking up the strikeouts so much. Instead, he collected a lot of ground balls and was significantly more efficient than usual. He gave up a single to Benintendi to open the bottom of the fourth, but Andrew Vaughn pounded a sinker to Báez for another double play, and Eloy Jimenez flew out to end the inning. The Tigers defense had a lot of work in this one, and they played a pretty clear game overall.

Luis Patiño took over in the fifth. The former Padres and Rays farmhand had tons of potential as a teenager, but injuries derailed his career. Now healthy, he looked pretty good in this one and kept the Tigers in check in the fifth. A walk to Báez was his only mistake of the inning as he kept the Tigers off the board.

Yoan Moncada opened the bottom half with a single, but again a double play followed as Gavin Sheets drilled a ground ball to Torkelson. The Tigers first baseman spun, fired to Báez and took the return throw in time. A fly out ended the inning.

The Tigers got back to their hot hitting in the sixth. Baddoo opened the inning with a hot grounder back up the middle that Patiño speared behind his back for the first out of the inning. However, McKinstry singled yet again, and Patiño snared a ground ball off the bat of Torkelson and threw it into center field, getting McKinstry to third. Cabrera smoked yet another line shot for a single and McKinstry scored to make it 9-0.

Patiño walked Carpenter to load the bases, but Lipcius struck out on a hellacious tailing fastball in, and Meadows grounded out to first to strand three.

Olson needed just five pitches to get through the bottom half of the sixth. Colas drilled a hard fly ball right to a well positioned Meadows in right center field. Grandal flew out to Meadows as well, and Tim Anderson grounded out to Báez.

In the seventh, Báez flew out and Jake Rogers struck out to open the inning. However Baddoo drew a walk to reach base for the third time in the game. Patiño managed to get McKinstry swinging over a good changeup to end the inning.

At this point, Olson was only at 68 pitches with three innings to go. Another relatively snappy inning and the complete game would be well within reach.

Trayce Thompson started the inning with a single, but Vaughn grounded into a force of Thompson at second base. The tenth pitch of the inning was to Eloy Jimenez, who pulled a sharp grounder to Lipcius at third for a 5-4-3 double play, the fourth turned by the Tigers in the game.

Olson was at 78 pitches, and now the complete game seemed likely considering the lack of stress on his all game long. Even a Maddux was in reach with 21 pitches to work with if he could blank them the final two innings.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Miguel Cabrera singled again on a ball that hit second base and bounced into center field. He was lifted after a four-hit day to a nice little ovation from the crowd, including the White Sox faithful. Carson Kelly pinch-ran for him, and Carpenter quickly singled him to second. Lipcius struck out on a called third that just caught the bottom of the zone, but Parker Meadows lined one to center field that was trapped by Colas. Kelly stepped on home plate an instant before Carpenter was cut down at third base, and that made it 10-0.

Frustrating our Maddux hopes, AJ Hinch decided to get Miguel Diaz into the game. Diaz, the Toledo Mud Hens closer most of this season, has some MLB time, so it wasn’t a rookie debut or anything. He showed off his good changeup, and whiffed Moncada and Sosa on fastballs for a quick inning of work.

Edgar Navarro took over from Patiño in the top of the ninth. He got Ibánez, who took over for Báez at shortstop, on a ground out and then struck out Rogers to open the inning, but Baddoo pulled one through the infield for his third hit of the day. McKinstry grounded out to end the frame, and this one was just about in the books.

Alex Faedo, presumably with the Tigers wanting to see him in a relief role, got a look in the bottom of the ninth. He got a pair of quick fly outs, and then struck out Zach Remillard on three pitches to close it out.

That makes three in a row for the Tigers as they continue to dominate the AL Central and struggle everywhere else. They collected 18 hits and three walks in this one, with only one home run, that of Lipcius’, in the mix.

Akil Baddoo, Spencer Torkelson, Kerry Carpenter, and Miguel Cabrera all had three or more hits on the night. Reese Olson only recorded one strikeout, but gave up just four hits in seven scoreless innings of work.

The Tigers will go for the sweep at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday. LHP Tarik Skubal will take on the struggling but talented RHP Michael Kopech.